This week I turned 32.
It’s happened. I’m smack in the middle of my 30s. It’s gotten so that I can’t even remember exactly how old I am off the top of my head – I have to think about my birth year for a second and count backwards. On the other hand, I can remember perfectly how old Fatty and the kids are, down to the months. ._.
They say, with age comes wisdom, but maybe with age also comes self love.
It’s not that I didn’t love myself, far from it. I was always very sure of myself, confident in my abilities and accepting of my flaws. It definitely helped that I (uhh ok sounds bigheaded la feel free to vomit) was perceived as pretty/cute all through my twenties. Life tends to be easier when you’re pretty and I coasted along, secure in my looks, my dressing sense, and charm.
But in the superficial world of social media, youth and trendiness trumps all.
And today, I am 32. Two toddlers came out of my uterus and my C section scar. My eyes now crinkle when I smile, and my cheeks are no longer as plump as they used to be. My eyebags are bigger than ever. My baby pouch is probably going to stick with me for life and my boobs are misshapen fml so underwired bras are my new BFF.
No lie, I mourned the loss of my youth and the ravages of motherhood on my face and body. I’d quickly scroll past Instagram photos of 20 year old girls with toned tummies and long, lean thighs since they were only sad reminders of my not so long ago past lolol. I scrutinized other women’s faces, marveling at their perfect un-saggy double eyelids and searching for signs of fillers or botox hahaha.
I couldn’t even depend on the predictability of my wardrobe anymore. What used to be uniform for me – skater skirts, cropped tops, short shorts seemed too try hard, too clingy to my fats, too Taylor Swift. Everything I wore or liked seemed to fit in the category ‘made for women ten years younger’ and uncomfortable for my age and role in life. So my wardrobe has evolved to suit my current needs – looser, longer, and better for heavy lifting hahaha. But I felt adrift. I, whose identity tied in so strongly to my looks, started to feel unsure about the person I was.
In a big to reclaim the person I thought I used to be, I started doing Kayla’s BBG program (also cos it’s free wtf). I weighed myself every day. I’d always loved shopping but now I shopped more impulsively, trying to buy beauty. I even contemplated getting surgery for my eyebags and boobs.
Then something happened. I don’t know why or how, but slowly I started to ease past this somewhat identity crisis. Instead of trying to squeeze myself back into my 24 inch shorts, I just went out and bought roomier sizes. I stopped BBG (because sorry it may be effective but it’s boring like anything T_T); instead I signed up for muay Thai classes and asked to follow Fatty to his badminton sessions. I may not be toning target areas but I don’t feel the need to anymore, just to be active. In the biggest change, I got sick of shopping.
I don’t know what came over me! Maybe it’s all those sustainable fashion articles I read on Huffington Post. Maybe it’s my overflowing closet which I have to clear every few months. Maybe it’s the austerity drive Fatty and I are now on hahahaha. But I’m suddenly tired of the cycle of consumerism that’s been *ahem* consuming me. And I’ve been slowly working on a capsule wardrobe which will enable me to stop shopping yet wear different outfits! (More on this in a later blog post)
I realized my life goal is not to be fit or look young – because ain’t nobody got time to go to the gym daily or count calories yo. It’s to age with grace, and to be comfortable in my own skin. Even if it’s 32 years old lol. And on my 32nd birthday, I finally feel that I am.
My own skin is that of a 32 year old mom of two and wife of one good, loving man. My skin comes with silver stretch marks and stomach flab. I may not be able to wear bandage dresses anymore but I can still rock a good pair of culottes and not bulge in the wrong places. I may have to draw on my abs with eyeliner WTF and buy more eye serum but I can also do sit ups and carry 20kg of toddler ahaha. Considered damn good for me already.
Even more significantly, social media activity doesn’t bother me anymore. I look at photos of girls in sports bras with bemused admiration instead of envy. Not getting an invite to the next ‘it’ event is fine, it just means I get to put my kids to bed. I have fine lines but I also have these two children that are worth more than a billion wrinkles.
I have realized not to hold on to the past because while you may lose some, in the future you also gain much more. So hello, motherhood and growing older with all your fine lines, chaos, and wisdom. I embrace you.